Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Bahrain. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with between 10 and 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Bahrain to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Obtain husband's approval to leave home

    Agency: Domicile

    According to Family Law a married woman will not be entitled to alimony if she leaves the residency without permission of husband or for non-permitted purposes.

    1 day no charge

    Draft standard Memorandum of Association and obtain preliminary approval from the Ministry of Commerce at the Bahrain Investment Center’s one-stop shop

    Agency: Bahrain Investment Center (BIC) one-stop shop at Ministry of Industry and Commerce

    The entrepreneur obtains preliminary approval from the Ministry of Commerce by presenting the required documents to the Bahrain Investment Center (BIC) one-stop-shop online at http://www.business.gov.bh/.

    The required documents are:
    (1) Company registration application form.
    (2) Draft Memorandum of Association.
    (3) Board of directors resolution resolving to establish the company in Bahrain (for corporate partners).
    (4) National ID card (Central Population Registry (CPR)) copies of the company's representatives. If the partners are not present themselves to register the company, copies of the ID cards of their lawyers/other representatives must be provided.
    (5) Lease agreement as proof of the company's commercial address.

    1 day no charge

    Obtain lease approval from the Municipality

    Agency: Municipality or the municipality representative at the Bahrain Investment Center (BIC) one-stop shop, Ministry of Industry and Commerce

    The lease agreement is required to obtain preliminary approval from the Municipality. If the entrepreneur decides to use the services of an attorney, it is common practice to use the address of the law firm until a lease is obtained within 3 months. Corporate offices can only be established in buildings with a commercial license (not residential). Once the lease is signed with the landlord on official documents, the contract can then be presented to Municipality desk for approval in the BIC.

    The location of the company must be approved by the Municipality. A municipality representative is available at the BIC one-stop shop.

    3 days BHD 10

    Notarize Memorandum of Association

    Agency: Notary

    Once the registration approval has been obtained from the Ministry of Commerce and the Municipality, the Memorandum of Association must be notarized by a notary public. A notary is available at the Ministry of Justice booth at the BIC one-stop shop.

    1 day BHD 27

    Open an account at the bank and obtain proof of deposit of capital

    Agency: Bank

    The capital has to be deposited in an account at a commercial bank and proof of deposit must be obtained. Commercial bank branches are available at the BIC one-stop-shop.

    1 day no charge

    Obtain Certificate of Registration from Ministry of Commerce

    Agency: Bahrain Investment Center (BIC) one-stop shop at Ministry of Industry and Commerce

    Once the municipality has given its approval, a capital deposit certificate has been issued by the bank, and the memorandum of association has been notarized, the entrepreneur returns to the Ministry of Commerce to obtain the Certificate of Registration (CR) from the Bahrain Investment Center one-stop-shop. The certificate of registration can also be obtained online.

    1 day BHD 50

    Publish the incorporation notice in the Official Gazette

    Agency: Official Gazette

    After incorporation, the company must publish its incorporation notice in the official gazette.

    1 day no charge

    Register the company and employees with the General Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI)

    Agency: General Organisation for Social Insurance

    The documents required for registration are:
    (1) Copy of employer’s Central Population Registry (CPR)
    (2) Copy of the Certificate of Registration (CR)
    (3) Copy of company contract

    1 day no charge

    Applies to women only.